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Democratic Republic of the Congo

Stamps issued: 1998-PRESENT

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150k Lioness and Cubs single

In January 1960, Belgium agreed to grant independence to the Belgian Congo, and general elections were held May 31. On June 30, the country became independent. The Congo was immediately torn by domestic violence, causing most whites to flee and two of the richest regions, Katanga and South Kasai, to secede. In August, Belgian troops were replaced by United Nations forces, which gradually restored order and suppressed the independence movements in the south. In 1963 Katanga was reunited with the Congo, and on June 30, 1964, its president, Moise Tshombe, became president of the Congo. Within months of the U.N. withdrawal (June 1964), yet another separatist movement broke out, when leftists proclaimed a people's republic in Stanleyville. The central government suppressed this uprising, with the support of Belgian and white mercenary troops. In 1965, General Joseph D. Mobutu became president. He began an Africanization program, wherein all Congolese with Christian names were required to adopt African names (he became Mobutu Sese Seko), Congolese place names were changed and, in 1971, the Congo itself was renamed the Republic of Zaire. After more than two decades of corrupt and inefficient rule, Mobutu was overthrown in 1997, and Zaire again became the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Narrative by Linn's Stamp News

Precedent Countries:


ZAIRE
Stamps issued: 1971-1998

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40s Zaire Arms single

The Congo Democratic Republic, formerly the Belgian Congo, adopted the name Zaire in November 1971. After a turbulent first decade of independence, the relative political stability of the 1970s enabled the government to improve the economic condition of Zaire. In 1977 and 1978, Shaban (Katangan) exiles invaded Zaire from Angola. These invasions were defeated with assistance from Morocco, France, Belgium, Egypt and the United States. Although Zaire's President Mobutu accused the Soviet Union and Cuba of sponsoring the rebels, in fact they were former Katangan gendarmes who had fled to Angola after the overthrow of the Tshombe government in Katanga in 1963. Mobutu's corrupt and repressive regime brought economic stagnation to Zaire, and attempts in the early 1990s to establish a multiparty government were unsuccessful. In 1997 a rebellion, supported by Rwandan Tutsis, overthrew Mobutu. The new government, under Laurent Kabilia, assumed the old name of Democratic Republic of the Congo. A new rebel movement, consisting of many of Kabilia's erstwhile allies, arose in 1998, and civil war, with the intervention of many surrounding nations, continues.

Narrative by Linn's Stamp News


DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO
Stamps issued: 1960-1971

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53f Figure with Earrings and Kneeling Woman with Bowl single
 

FERNANDO PO SPANISH COLONY
Stamps issued: 1868-1961

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15c surcharge and overprint on Fernando Po revenue stamp single

An island in the Gulf of Guinea, off the west coast of Africa. Fernando Po was acquired by Spain in 1778 and was incorporated into Spanish Guinea in 1909. In 1960, it became an overseas province of Spain, but in 1968 united with Rio Muni to form the independent republic of Equatorial Guinea.

Narrative by Linn's Stamp News

 

BELGIAN CONGO
Stamps issued: 1908-1960

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15c Kivu Kraal single

A former Belgian colony in central Africa. In 1885, the Congo Free State was established under the personal rule of Leopold II. Abuses of the colonial administration, harsh even by contemporary standards, prompted the Belgian government to assume administration of the region, renamed the Belgian Congo. In 1960 the Belgian Congo became independent, as the Republic of the Congo.

Narrative by Linn's Stamp News

 

SPANISH GUINEA
Stamps issued: 1902-1959

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25c Nipa House single

Former Spanish colony in western Africa, bordering on the Gulf of Guinea. The territory comprised Rio Muni, Fernando Po (after 1909), and Elobey, Annobon and Corisco (after 1909). Fernando Po and Rio Muni were separated in 1960, reuniting in 1968 to form the independent Republic of Equatorial Guinea.

Narrative by Linn's Stamp News

 

FRENCH GUINEA
Stamps issued: 1892-1944

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30-centime Hausa Basket Workers single

A former French colony on the western coast of Africa. During 1892-1944, French Guinea used its own stamps. In 1944, these were replaced by those of French West Africa. In 1958, the colony became independent as the republic of Guinea, and again began issuing its own stamps.

Narrative by Linn's Stamp News

 

ELOBEY, ANNOBON AND CORISCO
Stamps issued: 1903-1910

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4c King Alfonso XIII single

A group of islands near the Guinea coast off west Africa. The islands were acquired by Spain in 1778. Stamps of Fernando Po were used from 1868 to 1903. In 1909, the islands were attached to Spanish Guinea, now the Republic of Equatorial Guinea.

Narrative by Linn's Stamp News

 

CONGO FREE STATE
Stamps issued: 1886-1908

A former Belgian colony in central Africa. In 1885, the Congo Free State was established under the personal rule of Leopold II. Abuses of the colonial administration, harsh even by contemporary standards, prompted the Belgian government to assume administration of the region, renamed the Belgian Congo. In 1960 the Belgian Congo became independent, as the Republic of the Congo.

Narrative by Linn's Stamp News

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10c River Scene on the Congo invert error single
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10c River Scene on the Congo single
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3.50fr Congo Village single

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